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Pope Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at 10 P.M.

Monday, 07 Dec 2009 11:37 PM

Fears grew over the health of the Pope on Monday after the Vatican announced it would hold Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at 10 p.m.

Officials said starting two hours earlier will allow the 82-year-old Pope Benedict XVI 'time to rest' before his duties on Christmas Day.

It is the first time the late night traditional Christmas Eve celebration has begun at a time other than midnight.

Vatican officials were quick to deny the Pope was in 'anything other than good health' but added: 'The change is just a precaution you would take for any 82-year-old man.

'He is very busy and the early start will mean an earlier finish.'

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